JFA faces own Watergate: report


A member of the Japan Under-23 soccer team that reached the semifinals of the London Olympics caused £80,000 (¥10 million) worth of damage to a Scottish hotel after a kickaround set off a sprinkler and caused flooding, according to a report published Wednesday in the online edition of Scotland’s Daily Record.

Japan played in Glasgow when it stunned Spain in their opening match of the group stage.

The unnamed player kicked the ball at a sprinkler and set off the system, flooding rooms. The rooms had to be evacuated and renovated, racking up a bill that is still unsettled, the report said.

The Marriott Hotel in Glasgow has been in talks with London Olympics and the Japanese soccer authorities after a row broke out over who was liable for the damage, according to the report, which quoted an insider as saying,

“It was an accident but it caused chaos. One sprinkler being activated set off the whole floor and the results were catastrophic.

“Afterwards the hotel was looking to be paid for the damage and LOCOG were in dispute with the Japanese squad about who should pay. They still haven’t sorted it out.”

However, a source at the Japan Football Association said, “It is true that rooms were flooded but there is no way that a player would be kicking a ball around in his room. There is no clear reason why the sprinkler was set off.”